SC Workers Comp Rates Set to Decrease

South Carolina Workers Comp Premiums Will Go Down in 2nd Half of 2014

SC Workers ClaimSC workers comp premiums are set to decrease by 7.4% in the second half of 2014, after two years of moderate increases.

Director of Insurance Ray Farmer agreed to the new SC workers compensation rates, which he says will take effect on September 1st this year.

“We’ve had a good sign when it comes to frequency and severity and this is another positive for businesses in South Carolina,” said Farmer.

The National Council of Compensation Insurance (NCCI) filed for the decrease in workers comp premiums, based on loss experience for policy years 2010 and 2011. The workers comp rates experience was more positive in those years than 2009, according to the council.

“The observed trend in South Carolina claim frequency has been relatively flat over the most recent six-to-seven-year time period,” said NCCI.

The drop in SC workers comp premiums also shows that South Carolina is finally coming out of the 2007-2008 recession. There have also been relatively small changes in medical costs and wage losses, improvements that allow the overall cost of workers comp to go down.

According to the Department of Insurance, there are 288 insurers in South Carolina that offer workers comp insurance. The state’s claims have stabilized at 18 claims per $1 million.

Workers Compensation In South Carolina

SC Workers’ compensation insurance benefits to assist the injured employee include:

  • Medical treatment and other medical expenses (gas mileage, public transportation costs)
  • Lost wages: 2/3 of an employee’s wages will be paid out after a seven-day waiting period
  • Compensation for a permanent loss: blindness, loss of limb
  • Death benefits to spouse and dependents

There are obvious work injuries and not-so obvious work injuries.

  • Physical injury: an accident such as a fall, chemical burn, cut.
  • Repetitive injury: an injury acquired by repeating the same acts over and over through work. This could be accumulative hearing loss, debilitating back pain, carpel tunnel, neck pain. It is recommended to report a repetitive injury as soon as you need to seek medical attention for it.
  • Disease: an occupational disease is one that is acquired because of your job such as lung diseases (ex. Asbestosis) from work environments and hazardous work-related materials, or disease contracted because your work in a hospital.
  • Mental issues: Mental issues from extreme or unusual work conditions or from an ongoing work injury.

Anyone can file a SC workers comp claim for a work-related injury on their own. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation  Commission is supposed to oversee conflicts that arise between the injured employee and the employer’s insurance company.

However, even with a mediator, an injured employee is challenged to act on his own behalf against a business entity. Insurance companies have lawyers, lots of fine print and look for reasons not to pay. Workers’ compensation is their business. The company’s employees are experts. An injured employee is in a weakened and stressed state. Plus, the employee must be evaluated by a doctor hired by the insurance company; this evaluation is used to determine approval, treatment and/or settlement of the employee’s worker’s comp claim.

The Strom Law Firm Understands Worker’s Comp Legislation

The SC workers comp lawyers at The Strom Law Firm, LLC proudly seek justice on behalf of employees injured or killed on the job who work for private companies, as well as employees working for local county, city, and state government. We are licensed to practice throughout South Carolina, as well as Georgia and New York. If you are confused about worker’s comp laws, or have had your worker’s comp claim denied, contact us. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800.